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  1. #1
    paulbarden's Avatar
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    Choice of paper for paper pinhole negs?

    I have a couple of large pinhole cameras that can use 8x10 paper, and up till this point, I have simply used Ilford Multigrade RC paper. However, I am finding I don't like how it works in this context, with its limited tonal scale and overly textured surface, etc etc. I would like to find a fiber based paper that will give a better tonal range and be more easily manipulated (pre-flashing, developer manipulation, etc) to give more subtle results. I am considering Oriental Seagull glossy. Has anyone used that paper in pinhole cameras, and if so, what is your opinion of it? Is there a paper you'd recommend as a better option? Thanks.

    PS: I have used Polymax RC also and sometimes I like it, sometimes not so much. Again, the paper texture is too much for my tastes. (See example below, in regard to corner texture)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 9585985307_2e1c618076_b.jpg  

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    DWThomas's Avatar
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    My latest efforts have used Arista.EDU RC in a semi-matte grade #2. My understanding being that variable contrast papers tend to be more prone to burn out blue sky. That said, I fear I cannot yet point to any examples of my great success with paper negatives, although I've achieved some improvement along the way. I would probably look for something similar in fiber base if I were inclined that way. Perhaps my aging mind sees RC paper for negatives as "more film-like" in processing. (This year for the 8x10 on WPPD I went with X-ray film.)

  3. #3
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulbarden View Post
    I have a couple of large pinhole cameras that can use 8x10 paper, and up till this point, I have simply used Ilford Multigrade RC paper. However, I am finding I don't like how it works in this context, with its limited tonal scale and overly textured surface, etc etc. I would like to find a fiber based paper that will give a better tonal range and be more easily manipulated (pre-flashing, developer manipulation, etc) to give more subtle results. I am considering Oriental Seagull glossy. Has anyone used that paper in pinhole cameras, and if so, what is your opinion of it? Is there a paper you'd recommend as a better option? Thanks.

    PS: I have used Polymax RC also and sometimes I like it, sometimes not so much. Again, the paper texture is too much for my tastes. (See example below, in regard to corner texture)
    actually, I feel that Ilford MGIV-RC works great for paper negatives,because it has no printing on the back side and it's blue sensitivity can easily be controlled with a #8 yellow taking filter.that will nicely expand the tonal range for daylight shots(no flashing required);developing in Dektol(1+7)willfurthercontrol excessive contrast nicely.
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

  4. #4
    paulbarden's Avatar
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    @Ralph,
    Thank you for that information. I had not considered using a yellow filter to manipulate its tonal range - good suggestion! I was developing in Dektol 1:2 and decreasing the time in the developer, but I will definitely try your 1:7 dilution now as well. Much appreciated.
    I will probably still try one of the fiber based papers to see how it compares. But today, all I have is the Polymax and the MGIV so I will work with those to see what I can accomplish.

  5. #5
    Joe VanCleave's Avatar
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    I've been using Arista EDU grade 2 RC paper for years. It has no watermark, and has a paper speed of ISO P 400 when used absent any filtration. I recall that MG papers like Ilford have a base paper speed of around ISO P 260 or so; a bit slower. When I was using the Ilford MG paper for negatives, years ago, I'd rate the speed at ISO 6 for my exposures, whereas with the Arista paper I rate it at ISO 12. But I always had problems with excess contrast with MG paper. I like the RC base for paper negatives in that they dry flat and are hence easier to print. And I like the grade 2 for negative contrast that's relatively independent of the color of light in the subject. Of course, I do pre-flash my paper negatives.

    Regarding using yellow filtration on MG paper, I haven't explored that option, but of course the speed suffers; which can be an issue with pinhole, since the exposures are already protracted under cloudy skies. Another reason why I choose grade 2 instead of yellow filtration on MG paper.

    But I'm open to new ideas. Here's one. For instance, has anyone tried using a glass UV filter over the pinhole? This might serve to eliminate the UV haze often seen in paper negative landscape images, while still permitting the majority of the blue light through, so as not to adversely affect the paper's speed. Of course, this wouldn't be used to control contrast, but to eliminate excessive haze in the atmosphere. Perhaps an experiment is in order for this next week.

    ~Joe

    PS:
    Paul: Regarding using FB paper, even the glossy finish is not as smooth as with RC paper, so contact prints won't be as sharp. And I'm not so sure there's any intrinsic advantage to the FB emulsion over the same manufacturer's equivalent RC emulsion. Additionally, you'd lose the immediacy in processing RC paper, with its short rinse and dry times and flat shape when dried.

  6. #6
    NedL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe VanCleave View Post
    But I'm open to new ideas. Here's one. For instance, has anyone tried using a glass UV filter over the pinhole? This might serve to eliminate the UV haze often seen in paper negative landscape images, while still permitting the majority of the blue light through, so as not to adversely affect the paper's speed. Of course, this wouldn't be used to control contrast, but to eliminate excessive haze in the atmosphere. Perhaps an experiment is in order for this next week.
    Joe, that's a good idea. Not for me however: I love the atmospheric haze in paper negatives! A complaint I have about using a yellow filter with MG papers, is that it reduces the blue and UV sensitivity and reduces the "sense of light and density in the air". I usually do use a yellow filter when using MG paper in lensed cameras, and I usually do not use one for pinhole. Also normally pre-flash both. I want to try some graded paper, but have been using the Adorama VCRC for long enough that I'm comfortable with how it will behave. But not needing to use a yellow filter could push me that direction. BTW I've found the Arista brand VC papers are also about twice or a little more as fast, both for paper negatives and for printing under an enlarger. They also need a deep red safelight.

    Cheers!

  7. #7
    paulbarden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe VanCleave View Post
    I'm not so sure there's any intrinsic advantage to the FB emulsion over the same manufacturer's equivalent RC emulsion. Additionally, you'd lose the immediacy in processing RC paper, with its short rinse and dry times and flat shape when dried.
    Excellent points, indeed. I would have said that - twenty years ago - the fiber based emulsions were notably better in tonality than the equivalent RC paper, but perhaps that's not nearly as true anymore. I shouldn't have made that assumption ;-) Thank you.

  8. #8
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe VanCleave View Post
    I've been using Arista EDU grade 2 RC paper for years. It has no watermark, and has a paper speed of ISO P 400 when used absent any filtration. I recall that MG papers like Ilford have a base paper speed of around ISO P 260 or so; a bit slower. When I was using the Ilford MG paper for negatives, years ago, I'd rate the speed at ISO 6 for my exposures, whereas with the Arista paper I rate it at ISO 12. But I always had problems with excess contrast with MG paper. I like the RC base for paper negatives in that they dry flat and are hence easier to print. And I like the grade 2 for negative contrast that's relatively independent of the color of light in the subject. Of course, I do pre-flash my paper negatives.

    Regarding using yellow filtration on MG paper, I haven't explored that option, but of course the speed suffers; which can be an issue with pinhole, since the exposures are already protracted under cloudy skies. Another reason why I choose grade 2 instead of yellow filtration on MG paper.

    But I'm open to new ideas. Here's one. For instance, has anyone tried using a glass UV filter over the pinhole? This might serve to eliminate the UV haze often seen in paper negative landscape images, while still permitting the majority of the blue light through, so as not to adversely affect the paper's speed. Of course, this wouldn't be used to control contrast, but to eliminate excessive haze in the atmosphere. Perhaps an experiment is in order for this next week.

    ~Joe

    PS:
    Paul: Regarding using FB paper, even the glossy finish is not as smooth as with RC paper, so contact prints won't be as sharp. And I'm not so sure there's any intrinsic advantage to the FB emulsion over the same manufacturer's equivalent RC emulsion. Additionally, you'd lose the immediacy in processing RC paper, with its short rinse and dry times and flat shape when dried.
    UVfilters are insufficient to cut all the blue light but a light or medium yellow filter will do the job just fine.
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

  9. #9
    PhotoBob's Avatar
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    In 4x5 I use Ilford's direct-positive fibre paper. I know they also make it in 8x10. Great paper, but because of the thickness, must load the holders carefully. I also process in film developer (HC-110 b), which seems to really help with contrast.
    Follow the Light John 8:12
    ~~~PhotoBob

  10. #10

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    An associated question. As to the finish on RC paper is glossy preferred or could one use pearl?

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